Family and Friends · music

Westwards From Jingmen (or When Beethoven Met The Migrant Kids)

About the time Li Shangyin and I were meeting in Shenzhen, the drug wars in Central America had intensified. The United States was still a country that drew the oppressed, huddled masses. However, there was a growing sentiment in the country that change was coming too rapidly. America was turning brown and many were afraid.…… Continue reading Westwards From Jingmen (or When Beethoven Met The Migrant Kids)

music

The Palace of Emperor Chen – Two Poems (Or Mozart in Prague)

On one of his travels across time, Shangyin landed in Prague. It was January 1787. During a brief stint as a reporter for Prager Oberpostamtszeitung , he interviewed the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mozart was a little under 5 feet tall, with an unusually large head topped with a mass of carrot colored hair. He…… Continue reading The Palace of Emperor Chen – Two Poems (Or Mozart in Prague)

Family and Friends

A Reply Sent From The Southwest Expedition

A Reply Sent From The Southwest Expedition (or How Did Time Begin, And Why Does It End  When One Dreams?)   When I was a child time vanished, or perhaps nothing ever changed. When I made my first deep breath, the baobabs and acacia trees of the savannah and the tea and coffee bushes of the…… Continue reading A Reply Sent From The Southwest Expedition

Family and Friends

Again to Official Pei Ming’s Abode (or On what did Atlas stand?)

We writers are the greatest of narcissists – we make a profession of consuming ourselves and then try to sell what we spit out. Books themselves, the paper kind, give me much pleasure. All my life, I haven’t cared if they were soggy and wet, dry, burnt, or new as long as I could hold…… Continue reading Again to Official Pei Ming’s Abode (or On what did Atlas stand?)

Family and Friends

Jasper Lake (or After The Formlessness, Who Gave Things Shape?)

My mother was the first of her generation to be born in America. Her father and mother escaped Russian pogroms when they were children. She was born under Sagittarius, in Brookline, Massachusetts. She didn’t know (or care) she was white and Jewish until her parents and friends learned of her Kenyan fiancé, and her mother…… Continue reading Jasper Lake (or After The Formlessness, Who Gave Things Shape?)

Philosophy · Religion

Heavenly Questions

When Li Shangyin saw copies of the Koran, the Bhagavad Gita, the Bible and the Talmud in a local bookstore in Shenzhen’s Book City, he turned to me in astonishment: “The authors of these books must have known Qu Yuan!” (pronounced CHU you AN) “Qu Who?” I said, thinking he had sneezed. “The greatest poet…… Continue reading Heavenly Questions